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Pride month is over…or is it? As they say, “Time flies by when you’re having fun.” But just because it’s July doesn’t mean pride isn’t celebrated all year round. About 3 years ago I went to my first pride parade. And to me I saw so much freedom and nothing to worry about. PRIDE & JOY really meant so much to me, so I wanted to share a little about myself and about the event itself. Here goes…

I grew up attracted to girls and never truly knew why or how to come about it. I mean who didn’t find the pink ranger hot? Right? Ha! When I was in middle school, I came out to three of my best friends at the time. One of them, just didn’t understand how a girl could be attracted to another girl— I lost someone who I thought was a friend. I was afraid to be fully open after that, especially towards both my parents. I didn’t want to lose them by being disowned. I felt like I could never be myself in front of them, I felt trapped and stuck living a double life.

About three years ago I finally had the courage to come out to my parents— it took me at the age of 26 to finally speak up. It was the scariest thing I ever had to do— and even though they both didn’t want to believe it at first, they’ve come around to accept me.

Like most super heroes, we sometimes hide who we are— because we’re afraid what the world might think. It’s 2019– gay marriage is legal in all fifty states. There is nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. Don’t let uneducated, ignorant people bring you down. Chase what makes you happy— be the happiness because that’s what this world needs, a fucking rainbow! Don’t let one miserable grumpa-lump (yes, that’s a word now) ruin your day or ruin your happiness.

Be yourself— that’s more important then stressing over judgment. Look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of who you are! There is no such thing as “normal.” We are all weird in our own ways— and that’s a good damn thing! I’ve been told many times how I’d go to hell because I was committing a “sin,” or how I needed to be “cured.” It took me years to be comfortable with myself, it’s crazy how long I’ve waited. How much I wished I could’ve just once spoken up in middle school, in high school or during my college years. I felt like I’ve wasted so much time hiding. But things take time and everything happens for a reason— eventually everything falls into place.

RISE – PRIDE & JOY was special. I’ve done a few RISE shows now, but this one to me just meant so much more. I’m just happy I was able to be apart of this show. Share that moment with my Sea Star Delmi who accepted me from the very beginning. Every match I got to watch delivered, the crowd was hot from beginning to end. There were so many flags throughout the venue— so much pride. The main event was unbelievable! That was the first time I got to watch Cassandro el Exotico perform in the ring in person and I literally popped for everything!

The heartfelt speech Mercedes gave out at the end— says a lot on how RISE is developing performers, and not just women athletes but also men. Together we’re all equal. Together we all RISE above the hate.

Thank you Kevin Harvey for putting together such an incredible and meaningful event for all. Until next time RISE, love Ashley Vox

At RISE – PRIDE & JOY, fans in Chicago and worldwide on FITE.tv witnessed a collision of epic proportions. Witness the colossal power of Joey Ryan and Double D Rose when they go SUPER SAIYAN! Catch the replay of this amazing event, Pro Wrestling’s Ultimate Event of Love and Inclusion, now available with Unlimited Replays on FITE.tv and FITE Apps across all major platforms.

After her Main Event Match with Cassandro el Exótico at PRIDE & JOY June 30 in Chicago, “The Latina Sensation” Mercedes Martinez shared very passionate words with fans in attendance and those watching at home on iPPV on FITE.tv.

Among those words, Mercedes revealed the new mission and the new name of RISE – DTWA.

MidwestRRS

We have received many requests in recent months for two things – 1: Some variety of Women’s Wrestling Live Event the weekend of AEW’s All Out in Chicago. 2: Some variety of tournament.

Well, Sunday, September 1, we intend to do BOTH!

In our primary Chicago home, The Berwyn Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL, we introduce the first in a SERIES of Tournaments we are looking to host in the back half of 2019 – The Regional Rising Stars Tournaments, showcasing young, up-and-coming talents of their geographic areas.

Up first is The Midwest Bracket! This 8 woman, single elimination tournament will take place at 5 PM, tickets now on sale, priced $10-$30 at risedtwa.ticketleap.com.

The first talent confirmed for The Midwest Bracket – Big Mama!

We will also have a few of the established stars of RISE on hand. The first talent announcement we have in non-tournament competition, Dust will be in action – maintaining her position as the only member of the RISE Roster to be part of every single RISE Event.

With so many fans visiting Chicago, it is our hope to truly shine a spotlight on young, hungry Midwest talent who may be unfamiliar to fans from other areas.

We hope to see YOU at Regional Rising Stars – The Midwest Bracket September 1!

Our World Class Development Seminar facilitated by Bryce Remsburg will now take place June 30 at Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago at 1 PM immediately prior to PRIDE & JOY.

This Seminar is open to all wrestling roles and is a non-physical Seminar. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from Bryce’s perspective as a world-traveled referee in addition to many other hats he has worn at some of wrestling’s top promotions.

Register today for this Seminar with Bryce Remsburg at rise-wrestling.com/pjseminars.

“The Punk Rock Kween” Jamie Senegal

I’m sure most of you saw me posting on my social media that I was going to write up an article about being a feminine gay man in the world of professional wrestling… I did. On GOODNIGHT JOURNAL. But they DELETED my account and BANNED my e-mail from being used on their site. So I have shared the article with RISE, where I’m sure my article will get more traction anyway… so here goes.

HI! My name is Bryce J. Boyer and I am the 21 year openly gay and feminine professional know under the in-ring alias “The Punk Rock Kween” Jamie Senegal. My journey in professional wrestling began in January 2015. But this article isn’t a run down of me or who I am. I am writing this article to enlighten people on the reality of being a feminine gay male in pro wrestling.

I am going to start off with the negatives and then the positives so we end on a good note!”

I have ALWAYS unapologetically been MYSELF. No questions asked. I was in high school wearing fishnets on my arms, hair extensions, and makeup! It’s just who I was and who I am. Therefore when I started training to wrestle I didn’t think it would shake so many people… being Professional Wrestling is a world of extremities.

When I entered I had a very boyish appearance but I just didn’t feel happy or alright with myself because I knew it wasn’t who I was meant to be. But people were taking me under their wing like I was their son. Once I started finding myself and wearing makeup, fishnets, and etc (just like i did outside of the ring), I felt as though everyone kind of thought I was going “out of control.”

As silly as that sounds, when I was starting to find myself more, I was introduced to the likes of Rick Cataldo, Eddy McQueen, and Sonny Kiss (who is the first of us to really get the success she deserves; rightfully so.) who were so THEM. It was beautiful. I didn’t feel alone, because trust me (even though nobody was treating me poorly) I felt alone.

I didn’t have sisters. It was so refreshing to meet people just like me. Now there is so many of us… adding Saint Synclair, Ashton Starr, Billy Dixon, and sooooo many more of us to the world. We all have something so unique to offer to everyone. We are all talented in our own ways. Yet, so many shows don’t want more than one of us… or ANY of us at all. We are SO over-looked and under-utilized. We work JUST as hard as everyone else.

In 2016, I was in a best friend trio with a beautiful girl who was getting booked because of her looks, and a straight, athletic through the roof guy who was getting pushed because, well, duh. I felt so left behind. I was alone. I felt worthless and like I had nothing to offer because I literally couldn’t get booked.

We also fall prey to media… If a “straight- looking” man in wrestling comes out as gay he is dubbed as a “trail blazer” and gets 450,000 bookings and is pushed through the roof and admired for his strength. While we are all sitting in the back being dubbed as a “cliché” or a “stereotype”.

That is so frustrating because alongside my sisters we have gone through so much in our lives… hate, disrespect, judgment, and being over-looked. It makes us feel like our part of the war just doesn’t matter. Like, the fight we are putting in is unseen and unimportant. Rather than taking a picture with two of us, why not take a picture with ALL of us. We are a family, MASC & FEM LGBTQ wrestlers. But people tend to pick the ones with the most attention, when we are all putting in the for the fight. People think we are just taking the “easy way out” and instead of having to put in “work” we are using our “LOOKS to get OVER!”

Uhm…. we are CHARACTERS. This is a SHOW. We are STORY TELLERS. Not EVERYONE is going to be a SERIOUS, NITTY GRITTY wrestler.

But that is enough of the bad… let’s talk about the GOOD.

We as FEM LGBTQ wrestlers have the POWER. We are changing the game. I don’t know if people truly realize how many feminine gay wrestling fans there are who just want to wrestle so they can give to fans now what the Divas and Knockouts gave us. We as feminine gay wrestlers are paving the way and fighting so MORE and MORE LGBTQ community members can join this business and chase their dreams.

The MOST important thing of all is that we can all ENLIGHTEN. People judge books by their covers. No question. So when a judgmental person sees one of do a really good job at what we do, that changes their opinion on not only OUR work but on the LGBTQ community! As public figures, we bring to light the importance of loving EACH OTHER and OUR PLANET. We are truly gifted and it is a blessing to be a feminine gay in professional wrestling.

Do we fight for an easier day? ABSOLUTELY, YES. But myself and all of my sisters love our lives and we are proud to fight and make a difference.

Thank you for letting us live our lives. 

Bull Nakano Seminar Back by VERY popular demand, the incomparable BULL NAKANO returns to RISE August 9 in London, Ontario and August 10 in Toronto, Ontario! Wrestlers and fans alike will not want to miss this very rare North American appearance of one of professional wrestling’s all-time greats! Wrestlers – Our World Class Development Seminar with Bull Nakano takes place Friday, August 9 in London, Ontario and registration is now open, full information available at rise-wrestling.com/seminar. Fans – Bull Nakano will be part of the Meet and Greet before the HUGE collaboration known as The Summit! SHIMMER Women Athletes, Femmes Fatales, Smash Wrestling and RISE combine to present this event at The MET in Toronto, Ontario. $10 admission for the General Meet and Greet. For those who would like their moment with Bull Nakano, our VIP Packages are priced as follows. Prices listed below are Canadian Dollars. (The online store will show the same price in $USD). $20 – 1 Autographed 8×10 of Bull Nakano (provided by RISE) or you may substitute 1 of your own items to be signed. $20 – 1 photo with Bull Nakano, taken with your camera. $30 – Both options listed above $10 – Each additional autographed item beyond 1, up to 3 additional autographs may be purchased. Tickets to The Summit, CLICK HERE. To purchase your Meet and Greet entry for The Summit, CLICK HERE. And to secure your place in the VIP Area to meet Bull Nakano, CLICK HERE. Bull looks forward to meeting all of YOU this August at The Summit!

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PRIDE & JOY is about many things to all of us at RISE, our company, our talent and our fans. Above all else, it is about making an event filled with love, centered in inclusion and to make a positive impact in the Professional Wrestling and LGBTQ Communities.

We knew at the onset of PRIDE & JOY that part of the event would be to raise funds for an organization with a profound footprint in the LGBTQ Community. We considered many options, nonprofit organizations global, national and local. We have elected to stay local to our home base community, and we will be raising funds and awareness for Center on Halstead, right here in the heart of Chicago’s Lakeview Neighborhood.

Center on Halsted is the Midwest’s most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland. More than 1,000 community members visit the Center every day.

For more information on Center on Halstead, please visit their website centeronhalstead.org.

For the month of June, 100% of profits from RISE T-Shirts sales will be donated to Center on Halstead. This is not only applied to the RISE Pride Logo T-Shirt. Any and all T-Shirt profits for June from our store on Pro Wrestling Tees will be donated. Additionally, all future sales beyond June of the RISE Pride Logo T-Shirt will be continually donated to Center on Halstead.

The RISE Pro Wrestling Tees Store can be found HERE. The RISE Pride Logo T-Shirt will also be available to buy at PRIDE & JOY June 30 in limited quantities. Ordering in advance is strongly encouraged.

In addition, we will also be donating a portion of iPPV Sales from the LIVE Steam of PRIDE & JOY on FITE to Center on Halstead. To purchase the LIVE Stream with Unlimited VOD Replays, you can do so for $9.99 HERE.

June 30 will be an amazing day. After the Pride Parade at 12 PM, join us for PRIDE & JOY  at 5 PM at Chicago’s Logan Square Auditorium!

Tickets are still available HERE.